Just over a year ago, Navy Pier bigwigs announced a plan to use dining to transform the tourist trap on the lake into a "spectacular world class destination," and casted a wide net to lure in restaurateurs. Today, a press release reveals the first restaurateur to latch on, and it's the largest group in Chicago—Lettuce Entertain You.
LEYE will open two fast casual spots on the pier in early December: Big Bowl Chinese Express and Frankie's Pizza by the Slice. The Big Bowl will serve a scratch-made greatest hits menu of sorts, while Frankie's will serve slices, individual pan pizzas, and frozen lemonades. Both will be located in what reps dub the "food experience," formerly the south arcade.
These LEYE spots are just two of many new food options planned for the pier, which is undergoing a massive, and expensive ($115 million) redevelopment process. But can that process draw more than just tourists?